A SMALL band of sports injury specialists are on a campaign to help footballers “harden-up” their hamstrings.
In a nine-week supervised program, candidate footballers from Skipton, Clunes, Gordon and Springbank undertook target exercises and functional drills to improve hamstring flexibility and strength.
Positive results have already created interest for a pre-season program to help reinforce the region’s footballers for a long winter ahead.
University of Ballarat student Beau Porter teamed up with exercise physiologist Nathan Mackenzie and physiotherapist Matthew Clark for Harden Up Your Hammies.
The program was key to Porter’s studies but has quickly developed potential to adapt for athletes of other sports.
Porter, in his final year of human movement study, said a lack of stretching and flexibility were the main contributors to hamstring injuries as the year wore on.
He said awareness in how to prevent this could help keep footballers on field and hasten recovery.
“Our program builds strength and flexibility and stops recurrence of hamstring injury,” Porter said.
“We took into account the whole hamstring area, including the lower glutes.
“... We split the program into three groups – an injured group, prevention group, and return to playing group – and offered a second opinion for the sports trainers at each club.”
Porter said it was crucial that each candidate kept up individual stretching programs at home in between sessions.
The program was a joint initiative of MCPhysio, the YMCA Ballarat and University of Ballarat.